The Department of Music and Dance offers ensemble participation to all university students. YOU DO NOT NEED TO BE A MUSIC MAJOR to participate in the musical groups. The major ensembles are Band, Choir, Orchestra, and Guitar Ensemble. Additionally, students are encouraged to participate in the smaller ensembles: Jazz Band, Mariachi, Opera Workshop, Men's and Women's Choruses, Brass Ensemble, Salsa Band, Pep Band, Drum Line, Percussion Ensemble, Saxophone Ensemble, Trombone Quartets, Trombone Choir, Tuba-Euphonium Ensemble, Woodwind Ensemble and String Quartets.
All full time music majors must participate in the major ensemble of their concentration: wind and percussion - Band; voice and piano - Choir; strings - Orchestra; and guitar - Guitar Ensemble. Pianists and others who play appropriate instruments with sufficient proficiency may use Band or Orchestra for their ensemble requirement. Scholarships are available to select students by audition who wish to perform in the ensembles
Guitar ensemble presents one concert each semester and smaller guitar groups participate in numerous programs throughout the Valley. The ensemble works closely with the South Texas Guitar Society.
The UTPA Saxophone Ensemble consists of sopranino, soprano, alto, tenor, baritone and bass voices of the saxophone family. Apart from the large ensemble, trios and quartets are organized for community and university performances. We also offer the summer saxophone ensemble during the month of June.
The Saxophone Ensemble performs a wide variety of music including ragtime, jazz, and classical themes. Apart from the woodwind and lab recitals at the university, other community performances include the Garden Gala, Art Walk, and local high schools. This ensemble is open to music majors and non-music majors.
The Brass Ensemble consists of trumpet, French horn, euphonium, trombone, and tuba players. The ensemble performs 1-2 concerts every semester, at special events on and off campus, and for the commencement ceremonies at the end of each semester.
The Brass Ensemble rehearses every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 10:45 - 11:35 AM in room 126 of the Fine Arts Complex.
The UTPA Flute Ensemble aims to provide its members with advancement of their flute playing skills through ensemble rehearsal and performance. Members have a challenging and rewarding opportunity to explore a diverse selection of flute ensemble literature, utilizing the entire flute family, including the piccolo, common C flute, alto, and bass flute.
The Flute Ensemble gives one to two on-campus performances per semester and also organizes extra-curricular activities relating to flute playing. We actively promote arts culture in the community and perform in benefit concerts as well as public performances in the Rio GrandeValley and surrounding areas.
The Flute Ensemble welcomes dedicated music majors and non-music majors. Please contact Dr. Krista Jobson for more information.
For information on how to participate in the Clarinet Ensemble, please contact Dr. Bill O'Neil at:
For information on how to join the group please contact Dr. Jake Walburn at:
For information on how to join the group please contact Dr. Scott Roeder at:
The University of Texas-Pan American Tuba-Euphonium Ensemble was founded in 2009 under the direction of Dr. Scott Roeder. Since its creation, the ensemble has quickly gained national and international acclaim. In 2012 the UTPA Tuba-Euphonium Ensemble performed at the International Tuba Euphonium Conference and Brass Festival Linz in Linz, Austria as one of only a handful of tuba-euphonium ensembles from the United States to be invited to perform. The ensemble has also performed at the 2014 International Tuba Euphonium Conference at Indiana University, 2011 ITEA South Central Tuba Euphonium Conferences at Baylor University, the 2013 and 2015 Texas Music Education Association Conference, the 2013 ITEA South Central Regional Conference at Louisiana State University and the 2013 ITEA Midwest Regional Conference at Illinois State University. Additionally the ensemble performs regular concerts at UTPA and outreach concerts for the surrounding public school music programs. Current and former members of the ensemble have advanced or placed in numerous national and international competitions and perform in professional music ensembles across South Texas.
As advocates of new music, The UTPA Tuba-Euphonium Ensemble has premiered original works and arrangements for tuba euphonium ensemble. In additional the ensemble and studio has hosted numerous Guest Artists such as Fritz Kaenzig, Matt Tropman, Jerry Young, Lauren Veronie, Mark Moore, Patrick Sheridan, Roland Szentpali, Ben Pierce, and Jason Ham.
For information on how to join the group please contact Dr. Pedro Martinez at:
Since 1989, the UTPA Mariachi has been one of the best known musical groups on campus and off. The UTPA Mariachi was founded to promote Mexican Folk music and the culture of the Hispanic people for the benefit of the students and community of South Texas. The program consists of three mariachis – the UTPA Mariachi, the UTPA Mariachi Femenil, and the UTPA Mariachi Aztlan for a total of over 50 students per semester.
Mariachi is one of the most beloved types of Mexican folk music, and people of the Rio Grande Valley identify with mariachi music because it reminds them of their culture and heritage. Mariachi is a very effective tool in teaching students discipline and dedication to an art form. The study of music in general, especially in many genres, can lead to more broadly educated students and better citizens of the Valley with more to offer in the future.
The UTPA Mariachi consists of music students and students of other disciplines who are preparing to be educators in the public schools of South Texas. The student population of the Rio Grande Valley is predominately Hispanic. The study of the music and culture of the Hispanic population in the public schools promotes pride in heritage and is used to inspire the students to pursue a higher education. Many of the students in the UTPA Mariachi will be teaching Mexican musical traditions and culture in public school students in the near future. The Mariachi students are trained in Teacher Preparation, promote the Arts and Music of the Hispanic culture, and are very active in Community Outreach on behalf of the University of Texas Pan American.
The UTPA Mariachi presents multiple performances each semester throughout Texas and the Rio Grande Valley. In addition to local performances, the UTPA Mariachi has appeared at the Tucson International Mariachi Conferences; in Ottawa, Canada; in Los Angeles, California; at the Fifth International Mariachi Conference in Guadalajara, Mexico; at the Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlan Extravaganzas in San Antonio and Houston Texas; and has been invited to perform in Washington D.C. and at the Texas State Capital in Austin Texas. The UTPA Mariachi has performed with two symphony orchestras in Mexico, including performances in Monterrey, Pachuca, and Tampico, Mexico. For over ten years, in San Antonio, Texas, and in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the UTPA Mariachi has been selected as the “Outstanding College or University Mariachi” in nationwide competition.
The UTPA Mariachi Femenil (all female mariachi) recently won first place “University Level” in the Albuquerque Mariachi Competition 2005, and first place in the Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlan Extravaganza in San Antonio in December. The Mariachi Femenil opened for the Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlan in Austin on March 5th 2006 and won first place in the “Best in Texas” Mariachi Invitational at the Houston Rodeo, in Houston Texas on March 12, 2006, performing for over 71,000 people. The UTPA Mariachi Femenil is the only all-female mariachi at the university level (that we are aware of).
The UTPA Mariachi has been recognized by the Texas House of Representatives (1999) and the Texas Senate (2003) for promoting the music and traditions of the Hispanic culture. The study of the music and culture of the Hispanic population in the public schools promotes pride in heritage and is used to inspire the students to pursue a higher education. The mariachi program offers the student musicians scholarships that range from $500 to $1,000. With the assistance of these mariachi scholarships over 50 students have graduated with Bachelors degrees. Most of these graduates are now teaching in South Texas school districts.
One O'clock Latin Band
The UTPA One O'clock Latin Band performs for numerous events on campus in addition to various events throughout the community. The ensemble plays Latin music in the style of Salsa, Cha-Cha, Mambo, Merengue, Bolero and many more. The band performs 4-5 concerts per year in the Fine Arts Auditorium in addition to many other events on and off campus; please check the Fine Arts "Calendar of Events" for the our next concert or any other performances offered by the music department!
The UTPA One O'clock Latin Band rehearses every Tuesday and Thursday from 4:00-6:30PM in room 119 of the Fine Arts Center.
For information on how to participate in the UTPA Salsa Band or for information on how to book the band for an event, please contact Dr. Pedro Martinez.
For information on how to participate in the UTPA Pep Band, please contact Mr. Saul Torres.
A select concert band ensemble, modeled on Frederick Fennell’s Eastman Wind Ensemble concept from the 1950s, designed for high-level, artistic, public performances of major literature for winds and percussion. As a member of this Wind Ensemble, you are contributing to the three-hundred year legacy of concert band music in the western world. Sensitivity to outstanding musicianship, historical styles, and appropriate performance practices is required. In addition to the highest expectations as an instrumentalist, your ability to apply intellect and spirit in meaningful ways during rehearsals and concerts is also demanded. Membership in the Wind Ensemble is open to any student who qualifies through audition.
For information on how to participate in the UTPA Jazz Band, please contact Dr. Jake Walburn at:
For information on how to participate in the Percussion Ensembles, please contact Dr. Mark Ramirez.
Instructor: Dr. Mark Ramirez
For information on how to participate in the UTPA Drum Line please contact Dr. Mark Ramirez.
Instructor: Dr. Mark Ramirez
African Drumming Ensemble
The UTPA African Drumming ensemble focuses on traditional hand-drumming and the music of Africa. The ensemble is comprised of both music majors and non-majors, as well as drummers from beginner to advanced. All students interested in learning and playing are welcome. The ensemble plays several concerts throughout the semester, as well as at the monthly McAllen Art Walk. The UTPA African Drumming Ensemble meets on Fridays from 1:00-2:30 pm. Check us out on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/groups/121338961275668/
For information on how to participate in the UTPA African Drumming Ensemble please contact Dr. Virginia Davis.
Instructor: Dr. Virginia Davis
Office Phone: 956-665-7439
The orchestra is comprised of music students from UTPA and advanced high school students from the Valley.
The orchestra presents 2-3 concerts per semester in the UTPA Fine Arts Auditorium, please check the Calendar of Events for the exact schedule.
The orchestra rehearses daily MWF from 11:45-12:35 and T/R from 10:35-11:50 in room 126 of the Fine Arts Complex.
For information on how to join the group, please email Dr. Tido Janssen at:
The University Choir is directed by Dr. Christopher Munn. The Choir presents two concerts each semester.
The members are also invited to join the Valley Symphony Chorale which performs with the Valley Symphony Orchestra.
University Choir meets Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 11:45 and TR at 10:35 AM
Valley Symphony Chorale meets Monday nights at 7:30 PM.
For information on how to participate in the University Choir, please contact Dr. Christopher Munn at:
Director: Dr. Christopher Munn
The Men's & Women's choruses are designed to provide a choral opportunity for all interested UTPA students. Under the direction of Dr. Vivian Munn, the two choruses meet once a week to prepare concerts each semester.
The two ensembles perform music written especially to highlight the choral color of the male and female voices. Both choruses have been featured at several campus events, and the Men's Chorus has sung at several graduation ceremonies.
Women's Chorus meets Mondays from 3:00 - 4:30 PM.
Men's Chorus meets Wednesdays from 3:00 - 4:30 PM.
For information on how to participate in the University Choir, please contact Dr. Vivan Munn at:
The opera workshop at UTPA builds musical theatre skills in production and performance. It has produced works in many genres to expand those skills. In November 1999, the Opera Workshop presented a one-act children's opera, Goldilocks, which toured area elementary schools. In 2000, the Opera Workshop produced La Gran Vía, a zarzuela or Spanish operetta. The production melded the talents of the UTPA Mariachi and the Folkloric Dancers with vocalists. The opera workshop has also presented new works. The Atonement, by Professor Emeritus Carl Seale allowed students to see how a new work comes to performance. The opera workshop continued its line of zarzuela performances with two different performances of La Gran Via in 2000, two different performances of Luisa Fernanda in 2001 and 2002, and was climaxed with a production of El Dúo de La Africana in 2004. In the periods in between co-productions with the Theater Department included Into the Woods and Fiddler on the Roof.
Opera Workshop is open to all students and members of the community by audition.Dr. Richard Davis and Rebecca Coberly co-direct the Opera Workshop. Musical rehearsals are held Tue/Thu 4:00 - 5:30 pm.
For information on how to participate in the Opera Workshop, please contact:
Zarzuelas - Luisa Fernanda
Zarzuelas - El Duo Africana